The Congress announced on Sunday that Charanjit Singh Channi has been elected as the leader of the Punjab Congress Legislative Party (CLP), paving the way for his appointment as the chief minister. The development comes a day after Congress veteran Amarinder Singh resigned as chief minister amid a bitter power tussle with state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu with less than five months to go for the Assembly polls.
The surprise pick of Channi came amid reports of the party zeroing in on the name of Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa for the CM post, but a resistance from the Sidhu camp forced the party to rethink on its decision. Along with Randhawa, former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar and the party’s current state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa were the frontrunners for the post of the CLP leader, who will be the new chief minister.
Names of senior party leaders Ambika Soni, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Brahm Mohindra, Vijay Inder Singla, Punjab Congress working president Kuljit Singh Nagra and MP Partap Singh Bajwa are also doing the rounds. However, Soni has rejected the CM post offer, saying that the next chief minister should be from the Sikh community.